Solving My First World Problems, One Day At A Time

Making my great life better..

Mommy Issues May 12, 2013

Filed under: My LIfe — SideShowShannon @ 10:36 AM
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Along with a large population of people my age, I’ve spent a lifetime sifting through my mommy and daddy issues.

Through this, I have come to realize that I have gotten a lot of amazing qualities from my parents.

I have daddy’s ability to quietly watch and access situations.

I have mama’s ability to announce what I’ve noticed without worrying about what happens after I’ve said it. It get’s me into trouble from time to time, but I like to think that it’s more of an act of bravery to say what you’re thinking. Foolish bravery, but bravery nonetheless. Thank God that as I become older, my delivery is much more appropriate and colorful.

Mama with her firstborn, and me with mine.

Mama with her firstborn, and me with mine.

I have both my parent’s sense of humor. They are hilarious.

I have mama’s silver tongue. We spent years on our polyester-ish sofa that my parents brought back from Germany laughing at Eddie Murphy or Robert Townsend. We did a lot of things together, and laughing was a daily occurrence in the McGill house. Weekends that we weren’t busy with sports, we all sat in our den watching movies and television shows on Fox that may have been deemed inappropriate for children our age, laughing our asses off.

I had cool parents. They weren’t the ‘cool’ parents that let you have boy-girl sleepovers or get drunk “as long as we don’t drive” they were cool because they listened to cool music. They had cool interests, and they did cool things together. They had hobbies that fit their personalities and unique talents.

My dad used to bring home to my mother sketchbooks from his job. I remember her always getting excited, and would go to work almost immediately. I don’t ever recall seeing her draw, but she always let me see the sketchbooks after she was done.  She drew things that she was passionate about, and each sketch depicted such personal, sometimes haunting stories that I can to this day see in my mind. I was probably a teenager the last time I saw those sketchbooks, but I’ll never forget the one depicting abuse. I was probably seven or eight when I first saw it, and was always drawn to it. I studied it, studied the shading that she eventually taught me to do on my own.

I wanted to draw as well as she did. To me, everything she drew had life. It could have been just a single object, but I was always inspired to give it a story, a purpose.  My parents bought us all sketchbooks and paints, so I set to work. I couldn’t draw hands or noses, and grew frustrated. I decided I would rather describe them instead.  My sketchbook was full of crude drawings with written stories surrounding them. I didn’t realize until now that my mama was in part responsible for my love of writing. I wanted so much to be like her that when I couldn’t exactly mimic her powerful drawings, I chose to dictate what her sketchbooks made me see instead.

Thank you, Mama.

In seeking the best in you as a child, I was able to bring out the best in me.

I can only hope that in the years to come Blake can find out what’s best in him through his favorite things in all of us.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama.

I love you.


I wasn’t always this lame.. February 10, 2013

we found out that Blake was a boy, my dreams of ruffles and ostentatious bows came to a screeching halt. The tea parties that I had planned  were now cancelled, as well as the dream of finally owning every Barbie accessory, car, and house.  I got over everything rather quickly, and began preparing the life of a future mama’s boy.

Instead of bows and ruffles, I bought clothes that would make him look like a tiny man, and onesies with the most inappropriate artwork to express my personality and interests. I opted out of Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh clothes. He came home from the hospital in a Cobra Kai onesie.

Sweep the leg!

Sweep the leg!

I also purchased Wu Tang Clan and ODB onesies. I’m sure people thought I was crazy, but when he is a teenage boy keeping secrets from his lame mother who monitors his internet activity and comes across some pictures, I want him to know the kind of person I was.

I’ll tell him about the day I posted him in this adorable outfit on Twitter and it was immediately retweeted by Ghostface Killah, who called him a Wu Poster Baby. It was seriously one of the best Fridays ever.

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I’m going to have to make a lot of changes, not only in my lifestyle but demeanor. I baby talk to him like crazy. I immerse myself into being a mama that I worry that the old Shannon that I know and love won’t emerge when the time is right. It’s bad enough that I wake up after drinking four beers and proclaim that I never want to drink again. That was a warm-up for me back in my old days. I like the person that I’ve become, but I never want to forget who I was.

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I knew before he came that I was about to say goodbye to a lot of habits and mannerisms. At some point in the future, I should be a respectable, strong and confident woman who set an example for him. I want him to always trust that he can come to me for anything, no matter what it is. I want him to know that despite the woman that he sees today, I was much different before he came.

I want him to know that most of my life I have only truly been able to express myself through words, sometimes rambling, long-winded essays that eventually got to the point. When he is an angry teenager thinking about how lame I am, I also want him to know these things:

  • I used to use a lot of profanity. I probably still use it when you aren’t around, and you probably won’t hear me say anything inappropriate until you are old enough to drink with us. 
  • When I’m fifty I may not listen to anything with large amounts of profanity anymore, I may even get uncomfortable when I hear it in front of you, but at one time in my life, I was yelling loudly, “Wu Tang Clan ain’t nuttin to f  with”.
  • I have a vast t-shirt collection that your father forbids me to wear.
  • I was very strong and athletic. If you don’t believe me, I have a state championship ring that I can show you, as well as a number of trophies and medals.
  • I was the girl who never apologized for being myself, and I never will.
  • I have a career and a life that I love. I have your father to thank for that.
  •  Before you, I fearlessly wandered about in a darkened haze before I met your father.I finally felt real fear around the same time that I felt real love, and through him, I chose love instead.
  • I have seen a lot in my life, so I won’t judge you for whatever it is that you do. But I will punish you accordingly.

I also hope that if he ever gets anything from seeing the two of us interact is that our love and respect for each other deepens each day because he is with us. He is the biggest blessing in our life, and the glue that will forever hold our family together.


First Trimester March 20, 2012

Filed under: Pregnancy — SideShowShannon @ 10:33 PM
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I decided that maybe I should document my first trimester so that I don’t forget what happened.  I read my friend’s blog quite often for moral support, and came to the realization is that no pregnancy is the same, symptoms, weight gain, etc. But like my other friends in my condition, I am excited. Yes, excited. Despite everything that you read here, I am happy. I just forget to smile about it sometimes.

I spent months after the first time trying, and trying, with no results. I must have taken 40 pregnancy tests. I haven’t tried so hard to ‘pass’ a test since high school, and I did attend
college for a whole 6 or 7 years. So, in September, (mind you, we have only been trying for 2 months since July..) I decided, enough is enough! I have to do something different! I got an amazing doctor who specializes in holistic health, got educated on my personal health, and got down to business.  I started working out every morning at 5am (which I made sure to tell EVERYONE that I knew) and did an hour of cardio and lifted weights. It was a glorious routine that caused me to lose nearly 20lbs. I didn’t HCG starve myself, I didn’t take diet pills, I ate healthy. For once, I didn’t crave fast food,

I drank minimally, and I snacked on vegetables, nuts and dried fruit all day at work.

I looked amazing. I felt pretty, and I was really proud of myself. That entire month

I didn’t focus on getting pregnant, because I had other things going on, like my hourglass figure, and my afro which was coming along swimmingly. Then it happened. Thanksgiving morning I had a beer with Pa Bob, because that’s how we get down on the holidays, and I realized that I was late. I kept this to myself, sort of, and waited until we went home to take a pregnancy test, and there it was.

While sworn to secrecy by Randy, I still feel there is a clause that allows me to inform this sensitive information to at least one person, not including my doctor. The info trickled out slowly eventually, but we really wanted to wait until second trimester, so we wouldn’t have to inform a bunch of people that we don’t talk to every day that we miscarried.

In about 2 weeks, my symptoms began. I had to tell my co-workers because I took one look at my Pho and vomited in the trashcan next to me. The cats that have taken residence with us suddenly became a problem to me because not only am I allergic, I found them disgusting. I still find them disgusting.  The smell of the litterbox caused me to dry heave every time I entered the building. This was actually the first time I have EVER smelled a litterbox, despite having friends that own cats, so this was a different experience altogether. Because I stopped taking my anxiety medicine, I allowed myself the luxury of thinking about drowning them in a pillowcase, or tossing all 6 of them (yes we have 6 cats in our office, and none of us are lonely widows wearing Team Edward shirts) out one by one into the nearby dumpster. So, to answer your question, did I have morning sickness? NO, actually I didn’t. I had 8-5 sickness. I only actually got sick a few times, but I spent all day long in a constant state of nausea, accompanied by the occasional headache.

Then came the exhaustion. I tried in the beginning to keep to my routine, because I brazenly told people that I wouldn’t let my pregnancy stop my morning workouts.. I made it into my 8th week, maybe, then that was all over. By noon I would hit a wall, and I had to fight to stay awake.. I kept asking myself, why am I so tired? Am I faking this? Randy would look at me

with disbelief when I came home from work and had my bra off before I made it out of the garage. I was so tired, that I seriously thought I was going crazy and that I was taking advantage of my condition.. When I mentioned this to Natalie, my constant confidant, she asks, “Did you even read the book? Making a baby is equivalent to running a 5k..” While this made me feel better, I still couldn’t convey such to a man, because they will never understand such.. At this point I look at men with a certain disdain that only someone with a person growing inside of them at a weekly light speed would. My opinion of men in general went down the drain, especially since I was no longer physically able to watch them lift weights in the gym at 5am anymore.  Needless to say, Randy ran for cover,
and only emerged for dinner.

To Natalie’s question, “did I read the book?” Sort of. I was more focused on if Randy was reading his book to actually read mine.  So, just like the girl in Knocked Up, I was freaking out because Randy, who doesn’t read things without colorful pictures, or things about Razorback football, wasn’t reading the book. I actually read up to where I am in my pregnancy, then kind of brush over other topics.  What is weird, is that I have re-read like 4 VC Andrews books

My mood was…erratic. It usually is anyways, so I didn’t see what the big deal was. Except it was magnified immensely. I cry when I hear certain songs, I cry when I think about how awesome my friends are, I cry when I see people hug, I cry when celebrities die. I cry when I

think about the gym, and I cry even more when I predict how much I will weigh when this is over.

Hormones are ridiculous. I refer to them as Whoremones. As a person who throws tantrums anyways, this is a little worse than I could  imagine. One night I ugly cried for over 30 minutes about how the doctor would make me take drugs and I was going to die. Randy would get a settlement and a new life. He would get rid of all of our wedding pictures, and give Achilles to his mom, who would feed him people

food and stop training him. Then he would marry a white woman. Randy went between trying to comfort me and laughing.

I have only actually gained 5lbs. Even though my friends have told me to stay away from the scale, I weigh myself EVERY DAY. Don’t tell me not to, because I will. It’s what I do, and there is nothing any of us can do about it.  I hear advice on it all the time, deerka deerka,

its okay to gain weight. Um, sorry I am already considered obese for my 5’4 frame, I don’t wanna come out of this weighing 245lbs, so I monitor. Obsessively.
That doesn’t completely stop me from eating, rather trying to eat. My eating habits have changed drastically. My healthy habits suddenly become undesirable to me. I have no desire to eat broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower dipped in hummus all day. I look at dried apples and bananas and roll my eyes.. My can of almonds in my drawer remain  untouched. I go back to eating fast food sometimes. I crave Sonic Hamburgers… and pizza. and barbecue.   I can tell you a million things that I don’t want, but I have no idea what I want to eat, aside from what I just mentioned. I don’t eat until I get nauseous, which incidentally is when I remind myself to eat.  I start eating

mass amounts of angel hair slathered in butter.

Because of that, my blood sugar that I have painstakingly regulated, soars. My

plan for a home birth is out of the window, and I tearfully cancel my appointment with a midwife here, and find an OB. I am still pissed about that.  My original plan came about after talking with my sister in law, and watching a documentary on Netflix, and reading books and articles. I knew that no matter what route I went, home birth, hospital, I would have no drugs. By the way, all of you mothers that keep telling me that I NEED drugs can stop now. I don’t need anything stuck in my spine to take away the feeling of my legs.  I just need supportive friends who have been there to remind me that I am creating a life with my husband, and even though I am feeling as if I am losing my mind, everything will be okay.

As for my birth plan, I have my reasons for not wanting to be in a hospital. One of them is the fact that I don’t want to spend days in a hospital bed. I like my bed, I like my home. I want to bond with my child-immediately. I don’t want a bunch of random people touching my attractive and perfect baby. I want my baby to be as close to me and Randy as possible.
Do I want a boy or girl? I wanted a girl at first, because they are fun to dress. Then

I thought about me as a teenager. I don’t think I was that bad. But my mother has reminded me countless times how I made her life miserable for years. So, maybe I want a sweet little boy like Randy was. Honestly, I don’t care. As long as it gets his height, disposition and a perfect combo of our athleticism, I’ll be happy.  It’s funny because as much hell as I have given him, I want our baby to be just like him. I could care less if it has any of my qualities, I want  the baby to be just as perfect as he is to me.

Names? Stop asking. We are keeping that under wraps until the birth. Mostly because we can’t agree on anything. I have decided that when he leaves the room I’m putting whatever I want in the birth certificate.
While I seem miserable, I do look forward to each passing week. I am a huge complainer though. I just hate discomfort. I was overjoyed when I finally realized my baby bump wasn’t all fat anymore. I love reading about the new things happening to my baby, and I can’t wait to see it again. That is the advantage of having an OB, I suppose. One of my friends gets to see their baby

every time she goes and I am beyond jealous. The last time I saw mine it was a blob. The ultrasound picture looks like my face, and the womb is my fro. I love it.

I am lucky to be surrounded by friends and family members who have filled my unorganized brain with loads of information that keeps me from being a complete lunatic. My opinion of pregnant people has changed drastically.. I had a friend who was tired and appeared miserable throughout her whole pregnancy. I remember thinking to myself, how tired can you be? I think she is just being dramatic. WRONG- WRONG!
So, I suppose I owe her an apology for thinking she was just being a giant baby for going to bed every night at 7pm instead of paying attention to me whenever I saw fit ( I have come to realize that I am a very high maintenance friend, and even more so since I have become pregnant)

I want to thank my best friend, who I text incessantly every single day when something new  happens, or to repeat my constant angst and annoyances. Who despite having gestational diabetes, she manages hers much better than I, who have been diabetic for years..  I want to thank my sister in law, for not punching me in the face when I told he she was crazy for wanting to have her baby at home before I actually read up on it and realized what an amazing experience it is, and knowing what kind of person it takes to carry a baby for 43 weeks without deciding to have a doctor evict it before its ready. I also want to give her a standing ovation for gently guiding out her gigantic Hensley babies with no drugs or intervention. She always seems calm, and while I know I never will be, its nice to see that some one can be. To Jen, who has graciously volunteered to be my doula. I love how realistic you are in regards to my situation, and I hope that when the day comes, one of us will be able to remember what our plan was, and stick to it.  I also would like to thank the members o

f the House for allowing me to vent about the same thing over and over every single day, and never telling me to shut the f up about it.  Lorie, who let me come to her office and cry for ten minutes because I haven’t gone to the bathroom in 5 days.. Also to my many other friends who check on my periodically, and listen to my list of complaints without telling me to shut up.

And of course, Randy. He has had to deal with the brunt of my fury and fear on a daily basis, and his optimism never ceases to amaze me. I would angrily wonder why he hasn’t done something that I wanted him to do, then I realize that I never even asked him to do it.. He waits

patiently for me to tell him I need him when I don’t.. I just expect him to know, and I spend hours being angry about it, even though he has no idea what is going on.  What a good sport he is. Seriously, how can a person always be so happy, while living with someone who cries 35% of the day? I am so excited not only for myself, but for him. I know he will be an amazing father, and I can’t wait to see him with our baby.  I just feel bad because between both of our noses, its screwed.


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